Furious Fiction is a monthly short story writing content held by the Australian Writer’s Centre on the first Friday of each month. You need to write a 500 word or less short story meeting a specific set of criteria by the end of the weekend, and the best entry as selected by the judges wins $500.
The criteria for February 2019 was:
Each story’s first sentence had to contain EXACTLY THREE WORDS.
Each story had to include A FIRST of some kind – open to interpretation.
Each story had to include A CANDLE
The First Move
This is bad. This is very bad. I mean, it’s great… but very bad.
I used to think there was nothing worse than a date that goes poorly. I found something - a date that goes well. It’s weird knowing exactly where things are headed but having no idea where you’re leading them. I’ve never gotten this far, I have no idea what to do. These things always go the same way; the night comes to an end and they have somewhere they need to be, but they’ll definitely call me sometime (they don’t). But not tonight. We spent the night talking over a candelit dinner, laughing when I tilted an oyster too far and it slid right onto my face. My cheeks went that red that they could have cooked it. I thought I was done for. And now here we are, walking through the park underneath the stars. It’s wonderful… but terrifying.
I’ve got to make a move, but I don’t know what. I keep the conversation flowing as we walk. I’m trying to think of what to do, but I keep looking down and seeing the way the moonlight shines on her hair, and how blue her eyes are, and I completely lose my train of thought. Now we’ve stopped. Why have we stopped? Oh no, we’re leaning on the railing overlooking the lake. I don’t think I can stall any longer, this is it.
This is the point in the movies where the suave, charming lead sweeps her off her feet with the most wonderful kiss as the music swells into a joyous crescendo, and then they all live happily ever after. But I can’t just… do that, can I? She might have just had a good time with a new friend, not ready to jump into something just yet, and next thing she knows a slobbering idiot comes barging into her personal space with the complete wrong idea. But can I just… ask her if I can kiss her? Wouldn’t that totally kill the mood? Here we are after a great night, standing under the stars, and I’d might as well be announcing “I am completely incapable of reading a situation!”. I mean, I am, but I’ve got to at least pretend.
You’ve got to hurry up and do SOMETHING, idiot. You’ve only been staring into her eyes for, what, a century now? It’d have to be coming close. Look, she’s losing interest; she’s pulling a face. What is that face? Now she’s tilting her head. She’s leaning in. She’s…
This is good. This is very good.